9.30.2016

Football Friday: Styling Orange, Part II



Jersey: Alumni Hall | Jeans: Violet Boutique in DC (similar here and here) | Sandals: Target

It's Friday. Thank, goodness!

This week, this month, the past few days... they've all been a doozy, ha! I'm so thankful the weekend is finally upon us. How was y'all's week?

I will say though, this week I haven't stopped relishing in the big Tennessee Vols victory vs. Florida. I was at the game and it was insane! Let me tell ya, ha! So it's perfect timing that the second part of our Football Friday series comes this week. Tennessee is gearing up for a big game tomorrow vs. Georgia. If we win, we'll most likely head to the SEC Championship. A game Tennessee hasn't been to since 2007, where we played LSU. I was at that game, and remember the heartbreaking loss. So it's high time Tennessee got the opportunity to redeem themselves down in Atlanta.

Any who, lots of factors in play for that scenario, so let's just focus on the outfit shall we. I know in a past post I said we should leave the jersey's to the boys, but there are times when they're necessary. Like when you live nine hours away in DC, and watch the majority of the games at a bar or a friend's place. I'm heading over to a friend's house tomorrow for the game, so I want to be comfortable and casual. A jersey and good pair of ripped denim is in order for my game day attire!

Make sure you checkout the other bloggers and their game day looks at the bottom of this post! We'll have our third and final post of the series on Friday, October 21st. I'll be sharing a look for cooler weather game days, so stay tuned! Have a great weekend y'all!!









Oh, and one note about the clear clutch. Not sure if you know, but most stadiums (college and NFL) have switched to the "clear bag rule," meaning you can only carry a small clutch OR your bag has to be clear. This of course is for safety reasons, and makes for a smoother security line.
















9.28.2016

How to Blog with a Full Time Job

I realized this past weekend that it has been a hot minute since I've featured a career related post. Oddly enough, I started blogging to share my tips and style for the young professional. So it's high time I bring back a little work wear inspo.



Sweater Vest: Ann Taylor | Rust Crop Flares: Ann Taylor | Cream Shell: Ann Taylor (similar)
Pumps: Nine West (come in 8 different colors) | Bag: H&M (similar) | Bracelet: Kendra Scott (c/o)
Photos by Rosa Loves DC

But I didn't want to just share a "here's what I wear to work" post. Let's get a little discussion in as well, shall we?

I get asked quite often, how I maintain a full-time job and what seems like a full-time blog. It's a question I also ask myself on the reg, ha!

I started blogging as a side project or hobby if you will. I never imagined that it'd grow into something that sometimes can seem like a second job. Not in the sense that blogging feels like work, but in the fact it does take up a lot of hours of my week.



I know quite a few other bloggers have touched on this subject before, and it's always nice to hear all perspectives from bloggers with full-time jobs.

I currently work 45-50 hours a week, sometimes less or more depending on the craziness of the week. Those hours are strictly spent at my desk, in the office. So that leaves nights, some lunch breaks and the weekends for blogging. Mix in social events, adult duties (i.e. laundry, running errands, cleaning the apartment), Church on Sunday mornings, devotional group on Tuesday mornings, and football games on the weekends, and I'm left with barely any time for getting actual blog work in. Oh, and there's sleep somewhere in all that, ha!

So how do I get it all done? The easy answer, I don't. It's all about prioritizing, staying organized, having a plan and thinking ahead. It's also about learning to "let go" when I can't get a post finished, or a set of photos I took turn out blurry. I'm a one woman band, and human. Sometimes, it just doesn't get done.







But over the past 2.5 years, I've found a process that works for me. A few things that help make blogging life a little easier and less stressful. I'm no pro, but I've found the process below to work best for me.

Planning Ahead

The biggest way to stay organized and know what needs to be done, is to plan ahead.
  • Toward the end of each month, I print out a blank calendar for the upcoming month. I fill in sponsored posts, collaborations, series, and other posts that need to occur on a certain day.
  • I then fill in with other ideas I have for the month. This is a rough draft, and has never, ever stayed the same. But it helps give me an idea of what I need to shoot, content I need to prepare and makes writing out my weekly to do lists a little easier.
  • On Fridays I will look at the upcoming week and finalize my content for each day. I'll make a to do list for the weekend, making sure I get all photos taken then if I haven't already. So if needed, I'll schedule a shoot with my friend Nicole who lives in my apartment building. My goal is to always have the upcoming week's photos done the weekend prior. This is especially the case during the fall and winter, because I leave for work in the dark and walk home in the dark. My outdoor lighting strictly comes only on the weekends.
Planning ahead really only relates to creating my content. There's still a lot more that goes into each blog post, such as...



Writing the Posts

Writing each blog post is the least time consuming thing I have to do. Editing photos, taking photos, preparing shoots, linking products, scheduling social media, etc., is what takes up the majority of my time. 
  • I usually write my posts at night, Saturday mornings if I have nothing going on, or Sunday nights. 
  • I always write my post content first, then add in photos and links last. 
Like I said, writing the content is the shortest amount of time spent blogging. One of the most time consuming things, and one task I absolutely hate doing, is...

Scheduling social media

There may be some bloggers who love this, but I for one HATE scheduling social media, ha! It's not the most fun, can be the most time consuming, and tedious after awhile. 
  • But since I have a full-time job, I can't sit at a computer all day, sending out tweets and Facebook posts. Thus, I use Hootsuite for 90% of my tweets and all of my Facebook posts. 
  • I usually schedule social media on Sunday evenings, as well as at night once I schedule (finish) a post. That way the post topic is fresh on my mind, and I can come up with something better to say than if I scheduled social media weeks in advance. It also helps break it up, ha!
Speaking of social media, there's a lot of upkeep with that too. I spend about 30 minutes before I go to bed each night, responding to Instagram comments, tweets, liking photos and editing my Instagram photos for the next day or so. I always post Instagram photos myself, which is why you mostly see them early in the mornings or late at night. I rarely post during the day, unless there's a sale or I have some time at lunch. 

But aside from all the work that goes into creating each blog post, there's also...





Events and Networking

Both of which are important for getting your brand out there. I wish I could attend every single event I'm invited to, but the reality is I can't. A lot of events, media dinners/lunches, etc., can occur during the day, late afternoon or go from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. I don't get off work till 6:00 p.m., so the likelihood I can get across town before 7:00 p.m. is slim. So unless an event is later, or I get to leave work earlier, I tend to have to say no. I honestly feel like I miss out on a lot sometimes, but such is life. 

In the same regard though, it means when I get to go to a blogging event, I'm extremely excited to be there. These events also mean I get to see some of my friends and catch up with them, so I jump at the chance to go to as many as I can. 

Pheww, I know that's a long post and I haven't even talked about what I'm wearing here yet. But I hope this gives y'all a little insight into how I maintain both my full-time job and full-time blog!




Now as for the outfit, this will be short and sweet... rust is a huge color for fall! I love a good cropped flare pant for the office, especially with my favorite pumps. I added a simple cream shell and black tote bag, but took the outfit up one notch by adding this sleeveless sweater vest. It's one of fall's simplest accessories, that you can literally pair with just about anything. Jeans, pants, crops, over a dress, etc. This hands down is one of my favorite fall looks for the office, and not surprisingly, the majority of the pieces are from Ann Taylor.





I'd love to hear from those of you who have a full-time job as well, and how you maintain both that and your blog. Or maybe it's not a blog, but another side business or hobby. Let me know some of your tips and tricks in the comments below!

9.27.2016

Blanket Scarf Roundup

While the cooler temps are slowly inching their way in, it won't be long before we'll need the fall accessories to keep us warm. An easy, simple and affordable accessory is of course the blanket scarf. You can wear it a million ways, and if you're cold at the office or in class, you can simply throw it over your lap. This time each year I'm always stocking up on blanket scarves. You can never have enough! So I rounded up a huge list below of some of the best! All are pretty affordable, and some are even monogramable.

To shop, simply click on the photo and you'll be automatically directed straight to the site to shop. Easy enough, right? Happy shopping and enjoy your Tuesday y'all!



9.26.2016

Orange Fall Shirtdress



Dress: LOFT | Flats: J.Crew Factory | Purse: Vintage (similar) | Sunnies: Karen Walker
Watch: Daniel Wellington (c/o) | Necklace: Kendra Scott

Over the weekend I headed down to Knoxville, Tennessee (my hometown), to spend a few days with family, present the Taste of the South Charity Gala 2016 check and attend the Tennessee vs. Florida game on Saturday. It was the perfect weekend, especially since the Vols won. They haven't won a game this big since 2004, nor have they beat the Gators in 11 years. So needless to say, it was a long time coming. When people ask "where my favorite place is," it's an easy answer... Neyland Stadium, on game day versus one of our SEC rivals, with 102,000 screaming fans and cheering on the Vols to victory. THAT is my favorite place!!

Any who, enough about football. Y'all came here to learn more about this amazing dress. I've been eyeing this dress for a few weeks, but was waiting till it went on sale. Thankfully it did this weekend, and I was lucky enough to snag the last one in store. There are a few left online, as well as a similar style in a different print here and another fave here. A shirtdress is the perfect piece for early fall. Pair it with flats or booties, and then transition into cooler weather with tights in a few weeks.















9.22.2016

White After Labor Day







White Denim: Old Navy | Sweater: LOFT (old, similar) | Field Jacket: LOFT (old, similar)
Booties: Express (old, similar) | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Sunnies: Karen Walker
Bag: vintage (another great option) | Watch: Daniel Wellington (c/o) | Lip: NARS Golshan
Photos by Jenn

Some rules are meant to be broken. Especially the whole "white after Labor Day" sentiment. I've long been a supporter of year round white. To me, it's all about how you style it. You obviously aren't going to wear a white eyelet dress and wedges in October. That is, unless you're a sorority girl heading to initiation. Then, that's acceptable. White can be worn year round, simply by pairing your white with the right pieces. I like to stick to basic and versatile white clothing. Such as white denim. You can easily style a pair of white jeans, with the right accessories to pull off a white after labor day look for the fall. Like in today's post!

I paired my favorite white skinnies with fall pieces. I wore a neutral sweater, olive green field jacket and heeled booties. A good field jacket is something to invest in. It's an article of clothing you can also wear year round as well. Here's how I styled this jacket last spring. And in the summer, throw it on over a basic white tee and blue jean shorts. Definitely add one of these versatile pieces to your closet!

See... wearing white after Labor Day can be acceptable. It's all about the pieces you pair it with. In my opinion you can accomplish this by:

  • Sticking to one white piece
  • Pairing with neutral colors
  • Adding one heavy accessory, such as a jacket, in a fall color (in this case, I chose an olive green field jacket)
  • And finish off the outfit with fall accessories, such as booties and maybe a chunky scarf

Easy enough, right? Shop my look via the links above, or clicking through the widget below.















9.21.2016

Swoozies Fall Catalog + Giveaway

One of my favorite things is entertaining and hosting friends. Whether that be a game watch party (Go Vols!), simple wine night for me and my girls, or a more extravagant holiday dinner. I will always jump at the chance to plan a fun get together!

Anytime I'm hosting something, whether it be big or small, I always lean on one of my favorite brands, Swoozies. They offer everything from personalized paper products, to customized party and entertaining supplies, holiday decor and more. They literally have it all y'all!

Swoozies actually just released their fall catalog, and there's no surprise here that it's full of awesome goodies. So I wanted to share a few things I'm loving from their new releases!


Swoozies Fall Catalog



See something you like? Swoozies is hosting their annual customer appreciation event, so you can take 20% off your entire purchase with code CELEBRATE20 at checkout! Shop directly via the links above or head on over to their site to shop the entire catalog!

If 20% off your purchase isn't enough, Swoozies is going to give one lucky reader a FREE blanket scarf of their choice! How awesome is that?! All you have to do to enter is head over to my Instagram TONIGHT around 8:00 p.m. EST to find out the details. Don't miss your chance to snag the perfect fall accessory, for free!

Happy shopping and hosting y'all!

Oh, and if you're one of the lucky ones to have a Swoozies store in your area, you can head over there tonight for their Sip Shop and Save event. You can save 20% on your entire purchase in store + enter to win some fabulous goodies. See the graphic below :)  - - I know it says to have RSVP'd by last night, but it can't hurt to try and email them today to see if there are any spots left to attend!

          

9.20.2016

Great Country Farms Apple Picking







Plaid Button Down: J.Crew (identical version from J.Crew Factory) | Jeans: Just Black Jeans via Violet Boutique DC (similar here and here) | Duck Boots: Tommy Hilfiger | Necklace: Kendra Scott | Watch: Daniel Wellington (c/o) | Nail Color: "Mrs. Always Right" by Essie 
Outfit photos by Laura

Yesterday I recapped my weekend in Virginia Wine Country, sharing details on what my friends and I did for our mini girls getaway. We actually were in Bluemont, Virginia, which is about a 2 hour drive outside the District. We started the weekend off sipping wine at their winery, and then finished the trip with a morning of apple picking at Great Country Farms, which is across the street from the winery and vineyard at Bluemont.

If you live in the DMV (District/Maryland/Virginia) area, I highly recommend taking a weekend trip out this way. Or even just a long day trip. You can start off at the farms, picking apples and shopping their homemade goodies like apple cider doughnuts, fresh produce, homemade cheese and preserves. And then finish the afternoon at the winery, sipping wine and enjoying their delicious flatbread. Great Country Farms is also a wonderful place for family trips. They have a hayride, petting zoo, mini golf course and several more activities that children would love.









For my "country chic (we'll call it)" outfit of the day, I wanted something practical and comfortable. The morning's temps were slightly cooler, so I could get away with denim and plaid. I also wanted to cover my arms and legs to shield from the bugs and any mosquitoes. And wore my duck boots since we'd be walking through some pretty high grass and mud.

Practical, and perfect for a September morning of apple picking. Now, I just need to decide what to make with all my apples. Maybe a pie or homemade apple butter? Anyone have any good recipes? Let me know!